March Update

blue-gate Here we are already to the end of March. This month has flown by. We have been fairly busy in the store. We have done some interesting things in framing.

I have painted a new oil. It is called “The Blue Gate” and it is from a photo that I took in downtown Chicago several years ago when they had a competition in their gardens along Michigan Avenue. It was so interesting to see. I would love to bring this concept to The Golden Isles someday. It would be fun to come up with a motif for artists to decorate and then landscape people to build gardens around the motif.

The other news in my life this month was winning the LGA club championship at our golf club. I have come close several times before but this time I was able to hang in and win. It was very exciting for me.

I am about to start a wall mural in my grandsons bedroom. He has a jungle theme and I will paint a tree like I did for him before in their other house. I also plan on painting the closet door like an entrance to a stick hut with an animal’s head sticking out of a window. He just needs to decide what bird or animal he wants.

So with March closing down for 2009 and April knocking at the door I look forward to writing articles of Art Reviews of exhibits in the area soon. I think that it will entice people to go to the exhibits and also look at the artwork in a new and different way than they might have otherwise. I hope that I can get this going.

News from February

sand-dune-safari-sm

Sand Dune Safari

I have been doing some new things this month. I have a new piece that will go on the cover of The High Tides Guide for the next quarter. It is a piece that I did from a photo of my grandsons walking on the dunes at the beach on St. Simons Island. It is an oil painting.

I have photo that I entered into the local garden club garden show which will be shown at the Left Bank Gallery in April and then will be shown at the Garden Club Tour in May.

Lily Pads

Lily Pads

I am also working on a small commissioned piece that will be put up in the local library as gift to a retiring employee.

So I have gotten some good things that are associated with my artwork to come my way recently. They seem to come in bunches and then be elusive for periods of time.

Japanese Fan

Japanese Fan

We had a fairly busy month in Februrary working on 48 pieces for a resort who needed some pictures in their units. That was nice to get. Framing orders are really slow coming in. Although yesterday we put together a 31 x 78 inch mirror which to say the least is BIG.

Another piece that I have revived lately which I like is my watercolor of a Japanese fan that my husband brought back from his trip to Japan. I brightened it up and I love it now. Plus I framed it with a navy blue silk mat put a fillet in and put it in a beautiful Larson Juhl Gold frame. It is great to look at now.

New Murals

Ole Times Entry WayOld Times Function RoomI have just finished two new murals at the Ole Time Country Buffet & Barbeque in Brunswick, GA. It was a fun experience as I really enjoy doing large murals. These were 4′ high by 12′ long. One in the entry way was a composite of local scenes which are very familiar to visitors and locals alike. One was in the function room which was large and needed an impressive scene to fill the wall.

It was not too hard to come up with subject matter for these murals because I had painted all the scenes, at least in the entry way many times over the years. Somehow the whole idea came togther quickly and I didn’t have to struggle with what to do. I also knew that they were on a short time frame. I met with them one day and brought a sketch of my ideas back the next day.

Not only did I do the murals but we also acquired old photos of the area to put on the walls through out the restaurant. That was also an interesting experience. I wanted the framing job besides the murals so I offered to find the old photos of the area. That took some digging but I found someone who had grown up in the area and had alot of old photos. I also found a number of photos at the Library. I found out alot of great information about the history of the Brunswick area in my search.

So from my first meeting with the client until I delivered the framed pictures today, this whole project took two weeks. That means that we accomplished alot in that time frame. It was a fun experience and it was nice to get out of the shop for awhile.

The picture on the left shows The old Glynn County Courthouse, The St. Simons Lighthouse, Christ Church, and Shrimp Boats.
The picture on the right is The Sydney Lanier Bridge, Mary Ross Park and the Jekyll Island Hotel.

Larson Juhl Framing Seminar

We attended a framing seminar yesterday sponsored by Larson Juhl.  This seminar was prompted by the sluggish business that everyone is experiencing.  The topic was Trends and Solutions and Guidelines for Great Frame Designs.  It was lead by Greg Perkins a well known personality in the framing business.

Previous to going, I wondered how much there was to hear after 25 years in the business but I knew that there could be new twists that I hadn’t thought of before.  That was definitely the case.  Greg suggested ways to look at our customers and find out what kinds of designs would work for them.  There are alot of differences in the needs of seniors, baby boomers, x & y generations and of course the difference in preferences by men and women.  There are always new ways to see things.

For now I will keep this brief.  I just read  through a twitter connection that sometimes readers get glassy eyed if there is too much info at one time so I’ll continue this later.

Fabric Collages

fabric-collage-marshfabric-collage-turtles

Here are some new pieces that I have recently created.

I have enjoyed playing with different fabrics to create images of scenery here in the low country.  I have sewn for years so I have accumulated alot of different kinds of fabrics.  I have also bought some new pieces of fabric thinking that I might quilt them but with so little extra time, I decided that I would “paint with fabric” instead of sew it. 

This year I made a large wall hanging with fabric which I did do some sewing on for a client.  This gave me the idea to use the fabrics that I have to make a collage on stretched canvas.   Since working on designs is what intriques me,  putting different combinations of mediums together is challenging.  These pieces are mounted with wallpaper paste on stretched canvas. The wallpaper paste is inert and non yellowing which I thought would be safe for the fabrics in the long term.   On “The Turtle Crossing”  piece I used a lacey material for the sky and let the underpainting on the canvas show through.  That made an interesting affect.

There are always new and different ways to explore creating art pieces!!!

From Radio to Twitter

I feel like I have taken a  flight to circle the world during the past few weeks.  I have become aware of the social media networking happening on the web.  Up until now the web was a great research site for purchasing things or planning trips.  It has been a way to communicate with family and friends via emails.  But that world was very small and I am embarking on a journey through the looking glass.

When I was very small,  radio was the only broadcastor.  We used to listen to the radio to get the news or in print there was newspapers and magazines told you what was happening in the world.  We listened to The Lone Range or The Shadow,  voices with unseen faces. I  also remember viewing world news in the  movie theater on the big screen because that was the only way you could see it in realty.    Think about how old that news was!   It came just before the cartoons!

Then Television came along.  We probably had one of the first ones in our neighborhood.  The screen was probably 8 – 10″ wide and the furniture piece that encased it was a huge box probably 26″ wide and 3 and a half feet tall.  There was hardly anything to watch on it and it was all hazy and not too clear.  If I remember correctly, the sound was a bit tinny and a bit garbled.   But TV improved and there was more to watch than just wrestling when the news wasn’t on. 

I remember when I was in high school and we went to UNH with my math class to see some new technology – a computer.  This computer took up the whole room.  The room was probably 20 foot square at least.  It spewed out cards with punch holes in it.   Twenty years later we got a small computer for our home with the name of PC Junior.  It was when they were being phased out because of lack of memory capacity.  But it was fun for us and it also showed us in simplified form how the programs were made.

It didn’t take long for us to realize why they were phased out and we had to upgrade our computer.  Now we try to keep up with the upgrades to the programs we use.  There are so many programs that we use today between the POS program at the store, the 2 CAD programs that I have learned and the extensive facets to the Photoshope program.  No wonder my mind just shuts down every once in awhile!  Alot of our friends call this a senior moment but I think it is just overload.  My brain is being challenged with so much new information that  it’s probably running out of chambers to store all this knowledge.  Then what??

Getting back to my original point.  Now I am trying to  learn about ways to communicate with people who I don’t know and who are , sort of,  on a different plane than I am.  They text message with ease, which I haven’t tried yet.  They use language which I am trying to learn.  They take for granted ways of communicating and sharing information that I had never dreamt of before.  But I am finding this whole new world exciting and I want to be a part of it.

People I know, know how to use e-mail and maybe buy and sell on ebay and make their travel plans on the internet.  They are mostly all retired so that trying to develop a customer base or expanding their personal contacts via the internet is not a priority with them.  However, I am trying to reach a broader base for my artwork and to draw more people to our picture framing business.  So therefore I need to keep up with the most productive way to attract customers.  Old traditional ways of advertising are falling short today.

I also know, as an artist, how isolated creative people can be.  Visual artists and writers, have to spend alot of time alone to create.  With all that solitary time, some contact with the world is needed in order to continue to be stimulated to create.  Actually, because of our store and our framing business, the contact with the public has made my artwork richer because of the exposure to things that I might not have seen otherwise.  It broadens my experience which in turn gives me more resources to draw from when I do paint.

I have had a website for a long time but gained no social interaction from it except sales people wanting to sell my work for me.  I am hoping  this blog will stimulate responses as well as interest in  my art.  Plus I love to write and I think with all the knowledge I have in art and in picture framing that I have some information to share.

Anyway, now having joined twitter and getting all sorts of up to date news information, access to websites I never would have found and leads to interesting  peoples’  blogs.   I believe that there is a whole new world buzzing through space that I was totaly unaware of.  Going from radio to twitter is like a ride on the tail of a comet!

Great Framing Projects

I am at home now making my traditional Christmas Eve Onion Soup and making the deviled eggs for Christmas morning.  I started thinking about a question I saw on Twitter about what would be a great gift for Christmas.  Right away I thought of what I have said to customers that have come in with great ideas of gifts to give or special items that are important memories in their life.  “I don’t care how bizarre the request might seem, I love framing things that have special meaning to the customer or to whoever they will be giving it to.”

We have framed a violin which was being given to a son whose grandfather played that violin.  The other day I framed a box cover from a Dove Bar box because it had special significance to this customers daughter.  It recalled a special shared moment with his daughter.

There are numerous invitations, medals and awards for young and old that we have framed but I think that one of the most special things that we have done for a customer was taking all the patches collected by a Katrina Volunteer from other volunteer units and some of his photographs of the destruction caused by hurricane Katrina.  It was such a tribute to the extensive efforts of thousands of volunteers who went to the Mississippi, New Orleans area from all over the country with only a goal of helping others in need.  The unselfishness and genuine caring of strangers helping strangers was absolutely mind boggling.  I felt honored to just be putting these items into the frame.

We have done some paintings by very famous people and we have done things that have gone to Washington.  But of all the things I have framed over the past 25 years, I must say that this one gave me the most satisfaction.

Merry Christmas to all and let’s hope that 2009 brings out  the goodness that is inherent within all of us instead of the greed and avarice and selfishness that we have seen over the past decade.  Its there, we just have to help each other bring it the top.

Computer Images from Photos

My picture framing business came from my being an artist and I love doing it.  However, at the moment it doesn’t leave me a lot of time to paint.  So I have turned to the computer to create images from the photos that I have taken when I am away from home or when I do have my camera with me in the car.  The other factor here is that I have time to work on my photos when I get up early in the morning.  I wouldn’t have time to paint before I go the work.

Time and space  make my meduim of choice ,when I am at home , the computer.  I love working with photoshop.  I am still a neophite with photoshop but I am learning new things all the time.  One of the tools I love is the cutout mode because it simplifies shapes.  It creates fields of color and makes beautiful designs out of the imagery.   It becomes a photo seragraph.

To be honest, I have sold more prints lately of these computerized prints than alot of my other images.  Of course, the price is good because it is a print rather than an original painting.  But people really like the look which is like a seragraph as do I.

I will share one of my most recent photo alterations.

Lake Rock Formations

Lake Rock Formations

Having been an artist for over 40 years, and having used a computer ( we started with a pc junior ages ago!!!  what a dinasour!)  for over 20 years makes combining the two very exciting to me.  I’m sure that there are others who are also finding the challenges of the two very intriguing and never ending.

My son has gotten me introduced to Twitter which is a whole new world for me too.  It is all very exciting to be a part of all this now, especially because it broadens my exposure to all the things that are out there beyond my small geographic area.

The artist's eye

I have been working on my art for over 40 years and I have been a picture framer for 25 years. The reason I got into the framing was because of my artwork.

Over the years the two have melded together beautifully and I believe that I am more accomplished at each one because of the other.
I love having artwork come into the store because it broadens the scope of my exposure to all that artists today and in the past have done.
I am always challenged by the new projects that come in. I have to continuously look for ways to make the presentation extraordinary and also makes the customer happy.

My life today is filled with challenges to my creative talents and it is extremely rewarding whether I am creating a new piece of artwork or doing a framing job for someone else.

This is my first blog and this gives a bit of insite as to who I am and what I do.

Low Country Landscapes

 

Examples of my artwork on display at
The Artshoppe
St. Simons Island, GA

 

Avenue of the Oaks

Avenue of the Oaks

Island Trees

Island Trees

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